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Old 03-10-09, 10:12 AM   #1
Air
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Depressed friend committed - what to talk about?

And old and good friend (I'm the godfather of some of his children, best man at his wedding, etc...) was just committed for depression. He can get incoming calls (he's some distance away and I can't get out there to see him this week) but I have no idea what to talk about. Conversations are usually along the lines of him telling me how he's going out of his mind in the hospital but can't function out of it. And, he's depressed so he's not talking much.

Suggestions for conversation? Serious or only lightly humorous responses this time around, thanks
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Old 03-10-09, 10:14 AM   #2
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wow, that's a tough one, Air....sorry to hear about your friend. I would say to let him talk as much as possible but this is really one for the experts I think...you don't want to say anything counterproductive.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:16 AM   #3
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Perhaps you can plan something to do together after he's out and discuss that?

Seems to me some positive topic like that would be the most appropriate.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:21 AM   #4
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Just let him know that you are there for him. Ask him what he wants to talk about. Try to steer the conversation towards positives. You know this man much better than we ever will, so you will know what topics to steer towards, what motivates him, etc.

Can you talk about his kids, how they need a strong father?

Is he a man of faith? Are you? Can you find common ground here, pray together if so?

Just do the talking yourself if need be. Tell him about some positives in your life, etc.

Hope this helps in some way Air. Best of luck.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:24 AM   #5
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Maybe talk about the good times you've shared. Sounds like you've got some history. His wedding, his kids baptisms. Unless there's weird baggage around it, I guess. Talk about stuff that you know brought him great happiness or joy.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:28 AM   #6
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wow, that's a tough one, Air....sorry to hear about your friend. I would say to let him talk as much as possible but this is really one for the experts I think...you don't want to say anything counterproductive.
Yeah, I know. Problem is he isn't very talkative normally, and certainly not now.

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Perhaps you can plan something to do together after he's out and discuss that?

Seems to me some positive topic like that would be the most appropriate.
We used to bike together, been trying to pick at that but he just doesn't sound excited about it. I tried to go out there a few months ago to just talk to him when it seemed like he was getting depressed (this happened back in HS) and he broke down and called his wife just to ask her if he should grab a bite with me or not. He's just completely dependent on her right now and she doesn't have close to the tools to help make this any better - think she makes it worse by talking really flippantly about how he wants to kill himself to anyone around.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:31 AM   #7
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He might not be interested in talking - so keep it short. I'm sure that even if he can't vocalize it, he'll appreciate knowing that you care.

Good luck - and way to be a good friend - especially when it is awkward/difficult.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:36 AM   #8
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Just let him know that you are there for him. Ask him what he wants to talk about. Try to steer the conversation towards positives. You know this man much better than we ever will, so you will know what topics to steer towards, what motivates him, etc.
Trying to, he does love his kids and now not being around them isn't helping matters any. It's like anything I think of has a pretty serious other side.

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Can you talk about his kids, how they need a strong father?
Sure, but he doesn't have any faith in himself right now and doesn't think he's that strong father they need. It's partly what's fueling this though to me not true (meaning he is a good provider, able to afford house/kids with just his salary, but isn't feeling he's earning that right (working in the family business)).

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Is he a man of faith? Are you? Can you find common ground here, pray together if so?
No, but I never would have thought of that.

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Just do the talking yourself if need be. Tell him about some positives in your life, etc.
Does this make someone feel worse though? I mean, I've gone through some minor times of depression but nothing on this level, just not sure what's going to amplify things or not. Would it almost be better to be talking about the negatives so he feels like everyone is in the same boat and he's not any worse off than he thinks?

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Hope this helps in some way Air. Best of luck.
It does, thanks!

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Maybe talk about the good times you've shared. Sounds like you've got some history. His wedding, his kids baptisms. Unless there's weird baggage around it, I guess. Talk about stuff that you know brought him great happiness or joy.
Something else I didn't think about. I may try talking to him more about some of the bike trips we did (and maybe some that I did) - would go back before the whole wife/job era and may be able to kindle something to focus on. I think he needs to be active, he used to be and felt great and he just doesn't get out - knowing myself it's not good and those feelings start to feed itself.

Thanks all, keep 'em coming!
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Old 03-10-09, 10:38 AM   #9
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He might not be interested in talking - so keep it short. I'm sure that even if he can't vocalize it, he'll appreciate knowing that you care.

Good luck - and way to be a good friend - especially when it is awkward/difficult.
Thanks He was never that much of a talker so this is probably true too.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:42 AM   #10
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Something else I didn't think about. I may try talking to him more about some of the bike trips we did (and maybe some that I did) - would go back before the whole wife/job era and may be able to kindle something to focus on. I think he needs to be active, he used to be and felt great and he just doesn't get out - knowing myself it's not good and those feelings start to feed itself.

Thanks all, keep 'em coming!
Maybe float the balloon of going on a bike trip in the future, if he sounds excited about that, give him something to think about post-institution to look forward to. Something peaceful and fun. Maybe send him a good book you recently read that was uplifting or positive. Send him some old bike mags, stuff to keep his mind off where he is and on where he could be in the future.
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Old 03-10-09, 10:58 AM   #11
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I suffer from depression. I have had many episodes where I thought I was done. I was ready to end my life several times. I now have a woman in my life who is going to be there through anything and everything. I also have a father who is always there for me to talk to. I have three children that support me as well. My ex is a ***** but when times get real bad she shows me the side of her that I liked when I met her. When i am trying to overcome a problem stemming from my agoraphobia(which is the root cause of my depression) my 12 year old son will hold my hand, rub my shoulders and tell me everything is going to be ok. My girlfriend touches me and says 'I know you will be fine, you are tough and you always make it through. If there is anything I can do for you I am here'. That helps alot. Perhaps you can try that with him. Tell him that he is a good provider for his kids, tell him again and reinforce it to him. If the opportunity comes up and it is appropriate tell him you saw the kids and they miss him, they look forward to him coming home and they know he will be safe because he is their hero. PM me if you need anything else. I will add more to this thread as I think of it.
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Old 03-10-09, 11:03 AM   #12
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Whatever you do, avoid talking about current events, the economy, the weather and other subjects that cause even the best of us to want to jump off a building.

I'd talk about his family and whatever current accomplishments they may have...talk them up, talk him up. Stroke his ego without making it sound like you are just stroking him. Highlight the good things in his life, the things he should be proud of, the things that make you proud of him, the things that make life worth living.
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Old 03-10-09, 11:08 AM   #13
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Whatever you do, avoid talking about current events, the economy, the weather and other subjects that cause even the best of us to want to jump off a building.

I'd talk about his family and whatever current accomplishments they may have...talk them up, talk him up. Stroke his ego without making it sound like you are just stroking him. Highlight the good things in his life, the things he should be proud of, the things that make you proud of him, the things that make life worth living.
Right on chipcom. Keep it light and bright tho.
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